Another local MEP faces jail


Can you name any of your MEPs (Members of the European Parliament)? Most local voters do not know who represents the South East in Strasbourg – but there are ten of them. However, many may soon be able to name one of the recent incumbents (1999-2014).

Former Labour MEP for the South East, Peter Skinner, is likely to end up in jail, said the judge, following his conviction at Southwark Crown Court for fraudulently claiming £480,000 in expenses. The money was intended for support staff, but was diverted to pay for hotels, restaurants and jewellery.

According to Court reports, £10,000 a month was paid to his wife – now divorced. As part of his scam, Skinner forged a letter claiming he employed his father, to whom he paid £20,000 a year.

One member of Skinner’s “staff” was alleged to have invoiced him for more than £122,000 in 2005, while actually working at Tesco. Skinner claimed he had been confused over the rules and complained about the lack of information provided by the European Parliament. He is due to be sentenced on April 29.

European administrators are reported to have said they did not want to bother MEPs with too much paperwork. Now try naming a current local MEP other than Nigel Farage?

[Editor’s note: A former MEP, Ashley Mote, who was elected to represent UKIP, but then became an Independent, was jailed for five years last year for fraudulent expenses claims, and another UKIP MEP, Janice Atkinson (who has since also become an Independent) was accused of fraudulent claims, but then the charges were dropped.

There are ten MEPs currently representing the South East – one Independent, three UKIP, one Labour, three Conservative, one Green, and one Lib Dem – but Farage is probably the only household name]

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  1. Excellent article.

    For information each MEP costs taxpayers £1.79 million pounds a year to run (based on the cost of running the European parliament); there are 751 of them; their average salary including allowances is £186,000 a year (although clearly Peter Skinner felt he and his family deserved more). In the end I feel a bit sorry for him in that he clearly had difficulty understanding the rules? Maybe he could do a maths GCSE when in prison?
    [NOTE: This comment has been slightly edited]

  2. All this info about some of the mep’s and fraudulent claims plus a fact that I can hardly believe that each mep costs us, the taxpayers £1.79 million pounds to run, confirms my desire to VOTE LEAVE. I have a spare poster if anyone would like it as I ordered 2!


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